McClintock High School junior following his hero’s lead in giving back
McClintock High School junior and lineman Noah Sanchez is in the business of giving back to those less fortunate.
When he’s not starting on both sides of the football, wrestling or weight lifting, the junior can be found offering up his time and energy back to the local community.
Whether it’s sharing his time with underprivileged kids in a boxing ring, helping get their form down and sharing life lessons, or lending a hand at homeless shelters, Sanchez makes sure he puts his best foot forward on a daily basis.
He’s taking what his family has instilled in him and paying it forward.
“My Ta-Ta always told me if I can’t give my money, then I can give my time,” Sanchez said. “And that’s what I can do. I like to give back to boxing and through little league baseball and a couple homeless shelters. Boxing, I like helping the kids that aren’t very fortunate and I just do what I can, teaching them what I’ve been taught by my family. A little bit about boxing, a little bit about life.
“With little league baseball I do whatever I can. Helping the coaches, putting out equipment or just helping the kids hit the ball a little bit better. At the homeless shelter, I make the toiletry bags, I give out food boxes. Just whatever I can.”
One of the organizations Sanchez helps out is Flight 33. It serves around 300 children a year through its back-to-school backpack program and offers basic needs assistance and free after school enrichment and homework help for K-12 at the Pascua Yaqui Tribal Center in Guadalupe, Ariz.
“I feel really good being able to give back, especially since I’ve been given everything that I ever needed in my life,” Sanchez said. “Being able to give at least something back, even though it’s not money, just doing a little bit for them, makes me feel a little bit better.”
Once he graduates, Sanchez is hoping to join the U.S. Military Academy and later wants to become a pilot and earn a mechanical engineering degree.
For Sanchez, going that career path gives him the opportunity to be out in the field doing something that’s actually making a difference and not stuck behind a desk.
The call of service is something Sanchez is eager to fulfill, following in the footsteps of his hero Pat Tillman, who made the ultimate sacrifice when he left his NFL career behind to fight for his country overseas.
“When 9/11 struck, he decided that giving service to his country was more important than playing football,” Sanchez said. “That just lines up with what I always wanted to do with going into the military.
“I look up to him a lot just because I think what he did was really honorable and I just thought going into the military would be the best thing for me to do. It’s a way for me to keep giving back.”